Will Smith smacks Chris Rock on stage over Jada Pinkett Smith joke during Oscars 2022

Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith's alopecia hair loss when he was on stage presenting

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It's been a night of highs and lows for Will Smith at the 94th Academy Awards. He won the Best Actor in a Leading Role award for his turn in King Richard.

However, he also confronted Chris Rock on stage, after the comedian made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith, Smith's wife.

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Pinkett Smith has spoken publicly about her hair loss from alopecia, which was the butt of Rock's Oscars joke.

Rock likened her hair to a GI Jane haircut, which prompted Smith to confront him in a seemingly unscripted moment.

Images showing Will Smith slap Chris Rock during the 94th Academy Awards on March 27, 2022. Reuters

Smith initially laughed at the joke and Pinkett Smith did not. Then, as Rock prepared to hand out the Best Documentary Oscar, Smith walked up to him and slapped his face, which prompted the presenter to shout, “Oh wow ... Will Smith just smacked the [expletive] out of me.”

Smith then sat down, but shouted from his seat, “Keep my wife’s name out of your [expletive] mouth.”

According to reports, the exchange was censored on US television, although the show was broadcast live. It was not censored on the live UK showing.

A flustered Rock attempted to brush the incident off, saying, “That was, er, the greatest night in the history of television,” before proceeding to present the award.

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Unaired footage showed Smith being pulled aside by Denzel Washington and Tyler Perry. Bradley Cooper also talked to the distressed actor, who appeared to be wiping tears from his eyes.

Jada Pinkett Smith's alopecia

Pinkett Smith has spoken about her alopecia. When she took to Instagram to discuss her autoimmune disorder in December, she said: “Me and this alopecia are going to be friends.”

In the video, the Matrix Resurrections star pointed out bare patches on her scalp and said she was embracing them.

“Now at this point, I can only laugh. Y'all know I've been struggling with alopecia and just all of a sudden one day, look at this line right here. Look at that,” she says in the video, as she points to a line on her head.

“It just showed up like that and this is going to be a little bit more difficult for me to hide. So I thought I'd just share it so y'all are not asking any questions.”

She then said that she was going to “put some rhinestones in there” and make herself a crown.

In the caption, she explained that she shared the alopecia update so that “nobody thinks she got brain surgery”, suggesting that fans could mistake the hairless patch on her scalp for a scar.

Updated: March 28, 2022, 3:12 PM
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